The global COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new era of business events influenced by heightened health precautions. It also has accelerated the use of digital platforms to distribute meaningful content. During these challenging times, Events DC has pushed for the nation’s capital to remain in the forefront of our customers’ minds as we think about returning to a new normal and setting the standard for innovation.
“We are witnessing an evolution in our industry where organizations are better leveraging their business events to propel their mission and while effectuating social change,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and CEO of Events DC. Through its participation in PCMA Convening Leaders 2021 as an Official Network Partner, O’Dell said, Events DC continues “to network and collaborate with industry thought leaders and business event strategists to engage in creative thinking and promote innovation.”
As Events DC explored ways to engage with clients and stakeholders and resume live events safely, it launched GATHER by Events DC, a content website designed to bring the Washington, D.C. community, customers, and partners together.
GATHER delivers a fully integrated, experiential platform that provides a diverse array of entertainment and resources. Through livestream performances, virtual conferences, and content categories to fit every guest, GATHER redefines how to convene audiences and provides meaningful and memorable experiences.
GATHER is an on-demand repository of curated experiences that are designed to engage and excite audiences through impactful programming, featuring culinary, sports, entertainment and culture, music, and community.
As part of GATHER, Events DC unveiled Studio 801, a 19,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art production studio within a ballroom at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. With the studio, GATHER is capable of full-scale production, content development, and streaming of event programming. Using Studio 801, planners can host and create virtual experiences fully equipped with AV and lighting capabilities as well as dynamic LED screens. Studio 801 enables a return to live events by facilitating an interim step of hybrid production that can accommodate a physically distanced audience.
Health and Safety
Events DC continues to deploy its COVID-19 venue recovery plan while remaining vigilant of additional areas of health and safety, including enhanced sanitation efforts, hands-free technology, and new food-and-beverage services and capabilities, along with comprehensive staff training at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
The safety of Events DC guests and employees is of vital importance. Continuing to respond to COVID-19, Events DC remains focused on enhanced disinfection and hygiene, with additional training for frontline staff members and physical improvements to venues. Through the implementation of smart health and safety tools across these venues, Events DC continues to serve as an industry leader in reimagining events and best practices.
Events DC has rolled out a robust suite of health and safety tools to help safeguard venues against COVID-19, which include: Kogniz, a non-contact, real-time, multi-person detection platform using Artificial Intelligence that can send automatic health and safety alerts to managers and affected employees; Surface Guard, a first-of-its-kind safety protection and COVID-19 remediation; thermal scanning and continuous self-cleaning products for surfaces.
Additionally, Events DC secured the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR facility accreditation for three of its venues:
- Walter E. Washington Convention Center
- The Entertainment and Sports Arena
- The non-military event space of the DC Armory
The GBAC STAR accreditation provides third-party validation that Events DC has achieved the highest standards of cleaning and disinfection and infectious disease prevention within these facilities.